Metro-East News

Dance instructor takes deal in sex assault case after guilty verdict in Southern Illinois

Charles Young is in custody at Effingham County Jail after pleading guilty to sexual abuse.
Charles Young is in custody at Effingham County Jail after pleading guilty to sexual abuse.

A 34-year-old traveling dance instructor faces a reduced sentence for sexually abusing a teen girl in Effingham County after agreeing to a plea deal with prosecutors Thursday — months after a jury found him guilty of the original charge.

Charles Young was found guilty by a jury in November 2017 of sexually assaulting a teen while in a supervisory position. Young was a dance instructor when prosecutors say he assaulted the 15-year-old girl attending a dance studio in August of 2011, according to WRSP radio.

Effingham County State's Attorney Bryan Kibler said Young's attorneys had appealed the jury verdict, using a "novel" interpretation of the rape shield law. Kibler said the appeal would likely lead to a new trial, in which the victim would have to testify in again.

"We had a worry that we could get this (case) back in three years," Kibler said in regards to the appeal.

The victim agreed to the plea deal reduced the charge by removing the supervisory aspect of the assault, in effect reducing the sentence, Kibler said.

"She wants to get on with her life," Kibler said.

Charles Young agreed to plead guilty to one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He was sentenced to four years in prison, to be served day-for-day, meaning that he could be released in two years. He will have to register as a sex offender once he is released.

Young's last address on record was in Springfield.

Mary Cooley: 618-239-2535, @MaryCooleyBND

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